After missing many deadlines, the iconic and much-awaited Signature Bridge on the Yamuna was inaugurated on Sunday by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and will open for the public from Monday.
The opening came after a clash between BJP and AAP workers at the site, with BJP Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari, also an MP, punching a policeman during the fracas before order was restored.
Claimed by the government to be the country's first asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge, with the gesture 'namaste', the bridge will help people to enjoy a panoramic view of the city from 154-meter high observation deck -- to be open in around two months.
"Some final work is left in the high observation deck and it will be opened earlier next year, while the roads will open from Monday," an official said.
The 575-metre-long suspension bridge, proposed in 2004 and approved by the Delhi cabinet in 2007, will reduce the travel time between North and North-East Delhi.
The bridge, connecting Wazirabad across the river Yamuna, will take vehicular pressure off the existing Wazirabad bridge.
It will also connect the Outer Ring Road on the western bank of the river with Wazirabad road on the eastern side.
Dedicating the bridge to the people of Delhi, Kejriwal said people should ask political parties about the works done by them before voting.
"Don't get into the politics of those building temples, else your son will become a priest and not an engineer. Before voting ask the parties how many schools, hospitals or bridges they built. If they fail to count, tell them they can't get your vote.
"For the development of the country, the governments should build schools, hospitals and bridges and not temples or statues," Kejriwal said.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader added that "it is the time for the people to think if they want bridges or statues."
The bridge was inaugurated in the presence of Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Cabinet Ministers Imran Hussain, Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai among others.
Sisodia, rn his address, said the bridge will be a landmark and a tourist destination.
"Delhi was famous for India Gate and Qutub Minar but will now be known for this bridge. The bridge got its first pylon after we came to power. The work done before that was only 10-15 per cent," he said.
The inauguration was followed by a laser show. The Twitter page of the bridge was also started.
Ahead of the inauguration, BJP and AAP activists clashed, with BJP leader Manoj Tiwari attacking AAP workers and punching a policeman who intervened.
Tiwari got into a scuffle with AAP workers before the function started at the site, leading to the violence. The BJP leader later blamed the AAP for the trouble.